Big boost for Ka Pai Kai South Waikato

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A unique pro­ject that en­sures healthy lunches are of­fered to all schools within the South Waikato has re­ceived a ma­jor fund­ing boost.

Ka Pai Kai South Waikato’s healthy school lunches pro­gramme is one of three ini­tia­tives to be awarded a Mo­men­tum Waikato Vi­tal Waikato Grant.

The grant re­cip­i­ents have re­ceived a share of a $1 mil­lion fund­ing pool, pro­vid­ing a much needed in­jec­tion to give their work a boost.

Mo­men­tum Waikato, the re­gion’s com­mu­nity foun­da­tion, sought ap­pli­ca­tions for ini­tia­tives that would cre­ate trans­for­ma­tional pos­i­tive change, fo­cused on work­ing to­gether to im­prove com­mu­nity con­nect­ed­ness, or de­vel­op­ing bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion and path­ways for youth.

Ka Pai Kai will use their fund­ing boost to of­fer healthy, nu­tri­tional and af­ford­able lunches to all schools within the South Waikato and in­come gained through the ini­tia­tive will also en­able a train­ing cafe to ed­u­cate and sup­port at risk youth to trans­form their per­sonal well­be­ing, and pro­vide path­ways to fur­ther train­ing.

Mo­men­tum Waikato Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Ch­eryl Reynolds says this pro­gramme is about mak­ing sure chil­dren in the dis­trict have ac­cess to af­ford­able food choices ev­ery day and are learn­ing how to make health­ier choices.

‘‘Ka Pai Kai in­spires fam­i­lies, schools and lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions to con­nect and come to­gether to find win-win so­lu­tions for their tamariki,’’ she said

‘‘Mo­men­tum Waikato is proud to sup­port this im­por­tant pro­ject.’’

Kacey Maaka, chair­per­son of Ka Pai Kai, said the or­gan­i­sa­tion was work­ing in part­ner­ship with other lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions, lo­cal and cen­tral gov­ern­ment, ed­u­ca­tion and so­cial ser­vice providers, and lo­cal sup­pli­ers to en­sure chil­dren were pro­vided with healthy food choices now and in the fu­ture.

Board mem­ber Zaynel Sushil said adult and child­hood obe­sity was a grow­ing health con­cern in New Zealand.

The in­au­gu­ral Mo­men­tum Waikato Vi­tal Waikato Grant was also awarded to Sus­tain­able Coast­lines and Pu­niu River Care.

De­tails of the next fund­ing round for the Vi­tal Waikato Grant will be an­nounced later this year.

LUKE KIRKEBY/ FAIRFAX NZ

Kacey Maaka, Cathy Baker, and Sarah Turpitt are pas­sion­ate about the Kai Pai Kai healthy lunch pro­gramme.

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